My time to be selfish, to sleep and run and write and go out when I fancy is coming to an end. As excited as I am about the new arrival, I’m scared of the selfish side of my life being over. I’m ashamed by how little I’ve achieved and although I know having a baby isn’t the end by any means, I’m realistic about how much life will change. How much I’ll miss running and writing especially. I desperately want to be a mum, but it’s important to me that I’m not only a mum.
A few months ago I wrote a children’s story book about organ donation. And I’ve decided to take my last few months of selfish freedom and do something with it! I’ve signed up to a weekend course, starting next month, in writing for children. I’m hoping that will help me to make the book…a bit less shit.
In the meantime to continue my love of writing I’m toying with the idea of a novel. Or if not a novel, a not-boring book for adults along the theme of organ donation. But as I sat down to draft some ideas, I came back to something that I think about a lot. What’s the big deal? So I’ve had an organ transplant, it’s just an operation, what’s with all the banging on about it? So instead of getting anywhere with a book at all, I’ve gone off on a tangent and tried to explain why organ donation means so much to me.
I hope it will make a good opener to my book…whatever direction that might take…
What would you do with 48 hours left to live? If it were me, I’d want to grab my husband and scream how much I love him, I’d leave bruises I’d squeeze him so hard, I’d make him promise to live all our dreams, to cycle the silk road, to have a family, to write a book. I’d want a cuddle from my mum, a really really tight one like only she can give, inhaling her smell like I could take it with me. I’d want to write a thousand letters of thank yous and I love yous for my family so I could stay with them a little longer. I’d want to breathe fresh mountain air and eat pistachio ice cream, I’d want to sleep in a bed with nine pillows and crisp, white sheets and my perfect husband completely naked. I’d want to phone everybody I love and tell them so, and tell them what makes them so unique and special, and then tell them to make sure they live every second of their lives.
Unless you count the crisp, white sheets, I didn’t get to do any of those things when I was given 48 hours to live. I lay in my hospital bed in intensive care, in and out of consciousness, connected to machines and wires and drips and lines. Nil by mouth and too weak to lift my arms, let alone leave a bruise. I was scared and calm and happy and sad all at once. I felt no pain but I could feel death all over me, inside me. It didn’t feel evil, that felt sad too. Sad and sorry and regretful.
How many terminally ill people close their eyes on that situation, and then get to open them again, having been given their whole life back?
And having been given it back by a total stranger, who died doing it. This is a story about organ donation, about what makes it an awful lot more than just an operation.
I don’t know now, what do you think? I just love writing, I love sharing what my donor did for me. However complicated all the mash of emotions I’ve felt since are, I love feeling them, even the shitty ones. Writing helps me explore it all and I feel a huge duty to spread the organ donation message, I think this book, whatever shape it takes, may be the way I find to do it. I know that whatever story it tells, it has to get across the glowing happiness of one family right alongside the pain and grief of another. I think that has to be the most harrowing aspect of organ donation.
I need you - please click the heart or leave a comment if you think I should try it or you have any suggestions or encouragement at all :) Thank you so much!